Goodness, where did all of you get your
arabians? I want one!
I was so excited when we got our arabian, Xcia for our lesson program. She was five at the time, and was described to us as a 'gentle soul, willing to take it slow and easy for timid riders, and a very comfortable walk and trot.' She had good conformation, her PPE checked out, and her price was fair- so we had her shipped to us.
When I tacked her up for the first time after her arrival; I was expecting this soft, easy going but nice, alert horse. Imagine my suprise that I practically had to knock her over just to get her to wake up and walk! The 'gentle soul, willing to take it slow and easy' should of been 'half-dead, eating machine that refuses to go faster than a jog' ;) It took all of the experience and skill that I had to get that mare to look alive; and even more to train her not to walk around like a giraffe!
She's definately smart though. Especially about getting out of working and robbing little kids of their food!
Turns out, she's a nice beginners horse because she isn't going to do anything for you unless you ask for it correctly, and she is NOT going to be bullied by rough handling, so the kids have to learn to be firm but gentle. A lot of parents are nervouse about having their kids ride a 7 year old arabian because they've heard that arabians are extremely spooky and hot, with more energy than a nuclear bomb; but after one lesson their minds are put to rest. She's not going anywhere.
Just goes to show you that you can't all of the animals under one breed to be the same! They come in all shapes, sizes, intelligence levels, and personalities.
As a side note- OP; Xcia rides in a rubber jointed snaffle for lessons, but when one of the more experienced riders are taking her out, or she's being schooled- she is generally put in a 2" broken curb. It really just depends on how soft your hands are, and how responsive your horse is.